Tag Archives: Church

Messy Stories

Faith is a never ending messy story of how we live out our relationship with God.

Tonight, I taught a class on how to live your life on mission, as part of our joining our church. Last week was part one. Tonight, was part two and we talked a lot about our faith story.

I shared with the class my faith story and how my story hasn’t ended. I told them that I still don’t have it all together. I still don’t have all the answers.

One of things I look forward to most is hearing everyone that’s in the class share their story with each other. They share in small groups where God has brought them from and what God is doing in their lives right now.

It’s amazing to hear God at work in people’s lives. At work in families. At work in messy situations.

I was reminded last night of how messy our journey is. I was reminded of a few quotes from “Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yaconelli

“Spirituality isn’t about being finished and perfect; spirituality is about trusting God in our unfinishedness.”

“…it turns out that what disqualifies you and me from “spirituality” – the mess of our lives and our crippledness – is what most qualifies us to be chosen by Jesus… Some of us actually believe that until we choose the correct way to live, we aren’t chooseable, that until we clean up the mess, Jesus won’t have anything to do with us. The opposite is true.Until we admit we are a mess, Jesus won’t have anything to do with us.”

The power of our story is that our story is a beautiful mess. A mess that is filled with real people, real situations, and real questions. A mess that is beautiful because it is filled with real people, real situations, and real faith.

As we talked tonight, I was reminded of how messy my faith journey has been…and of how it’s not missed yet.

I’m so thankful for my journey and where God has led me too.

I’m so thankful for the church I am in that allows people to lead a beautifully messy journey as they discover how to follow Jesus.

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Beautifully Human

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Genesis 1:27
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

He created you and me in his image.

The word image in Hebrew comes from the word tselem (tseh’-lem) meaning illusion or resemblance. It was used to describe an idol or a representative, or an image that depicted a ruler. Another words, God created us to be his representative on earth and to be a model, an image, of what God looks like.

Genesis 2:7
Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.

Nothing else. Not animals, not even the angels, are given the breathe of God or the image of God…just humans.

This is an amazing fact…to God, our humanity is something beautiful. It shows the world who he is, and empowers us to care for the world around us…

Our humanity makes us beautiful.

But we live in a world where war, poverty, death, greed, hate, and so many other things rob us of our humanity…its as if those things rob us of the beauty and the dignity that God created us to have. Scripture talks endlessly about how there are these things that when we take part in they steal away the image of God in us…that they are below us.

They are anti-human.

But…

I long to see the beauty and dignity in others.

I long to choose to see God in others rather than all their junk.

However, most often, I choose to see their issues, and list all the reasons not to trust them or like them.

I long to see the beauty and dignity in others.

Day Dreams…

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Here are a few of the things I am dreaming about lately. Some of them our plans and some are just dreams.

Dreaming is a huge fuel in my life. It keep me focused and pushes me to where God is.

* Going to seminary (talking with Moody right now)

* Writing a book (3 pages written-its a start right)

* Starting a partnership with the Rock Community Church in Belfast.

* Being a part leadership group for young pastors.

* Seeing 50 new students become part of the Remedy this year.

* Starting a Jr High Student leadership team.

What dreams do you have right now?

The Number 1 Youth Ministry Web App

picture-12A few weeks ago I signed up for a free account with Tatango, a mass SMS (text messaging) and voice messaging web service. I had been looking for a way to connect with my students via mass text for a while and had yet to find a solution I liked. But Tatango has been a great tool that I continue to use in my ministry and am looking for more ways to use it with my students parents and others in our church community.

After signing up I contact Tatango support and was contacted by Alex from the support team, who I connect with now on Twitter. He helped me transfer the contacts I already had on my phone to the contact part of the Tatango site and has continued to seek ways to help us best use the Tatango features for our ministry.

Many web apps and social networking sites lack what I need to do ministry in the best way possible a way for students and parents to be connected without understanding the technology or having to maintain a profile to stay connected. Students are able to reply to the text messages or voice messages to continue our conversations but never have to maintain or require another social networking profile.

If your in youth ministry or even work in the church Tatango is a app you need for better connecting with your church, your students, or parents.

You can join my Tatango group here.

Band of Rebels

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In doing some prep for this weekend series:Be the Change, that we are doing at The Remedy I was looking over the story of Jephthah.

Jephthah had a history.

He was the son of a prostitute.

His half-brothers hated him so much that when his father died the drove him out of the land where his family was, so that he couldn’t live there and so he couldn’t have any of the inheritance that was his. So he left.

But then he became the leader of a ‘band of rebels’. Some translations say ‘gang of adventures’ or  ‘worthless fellows collected around Jephthah’.

Who are your band of rebels?

David had them…the 3 and the thirty.

Jesus had them…the 12 disciples.

Paul had them…Silas, Mark, Timothy, and Luke.

Sure, all these bands of rebels had issues. Jesus had betrayers. Paul had deserters, and David had murderers. But the truth is life is much better when lived together. When lived as a band of rebels. It’s why we relate to the stories of “Band of Brothers” or “Braveheart”…they lived together, fought together, and died together.

So.

Who is your band of rebels?

Weekend Pics…

So…this weekend I preached at all 5 weekend services. It was a awesome opportunity and we were able to add some cool arts pieces into our services and also celebrate communion together. Communion services are always a great experience as we together remember Christ’s death and resurrection. Here are some pics from the last service of the weekend (courtesy of my wife’s Facebook)!

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(Me preaching, while Katie and Spencer paint) *yes I am wearing a suit

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(Spencer painting as I speak)

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(Katie painting as I speak)

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(The painting…depicting the new creation work God wants to do in us)

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May your new year be filled with surrender and live a life allowing God to paint his love, his life, his peace and his truth on your life!

What Prayer Are You Praying?

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy. And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

(ht: Mark Batterson)

  • When was the last time you asked God to make your foolish enough to live out the gospel?
  • When was the last time you cried for those who suffer?
  • When was the last time you got angry at the injustices in the world?